Need (Deluxe Version)
On Need, Todd Agnew offers a one-man review of American pop music styles, all in the service of the Lord. The Texas-born singer/songwriter has stood out on past releases by virtue of his burly voice and slightly left-of-center approach to Christian rock. This time, he displays greater command of his talents while branching out in a variety of directions. Many of the album’s tracks are rooted in Deep South traditions, ranging from African-American spirituals (“Tell Me the Story”) to Southern Gospel quartet numbers (“Deep Love of Jesus”). Piano-centered tracks like “The Love of God” and “Jesus, the Hope of Glory” reach back even further to traditional hymnody. Balancing such tunes are aggressively modern pop-rockers like “Joy Unspeakable” and “Higher Ground.” The emotional range of the album is impressive, stretching from the contemplative sentiments of “Did You Mean Me?” to the exalted spirit of “Gloria.” Lyrically, Agnew skillfully draws upon imagery from both the Old Testament (“Written On the Wall”) and the New (“Breakable”) to convey his passionate Christian faith.